Blue Moon in Aquarius

Evening (1907) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis

That ancient rock face, rosecolor, / image of steadfastness, / gathers the light / through the day and after sundown / and makes of it / something one cannot / call light nor color : an artifact, / as if a smile / broke some ravaged face / and remained / in the glowing eyes, innocent.

Courage by Denise Levertov

Blue Moon in Aquarius

The Full Moon in Aquarius on August 22 is the third of four full moons to occur within the same season, making it a “Blue Moon” according to traditional definition. It is also the second full moon in a row to occur within the sign of Aquarius, placing extra emphasis on the sign of the Water Pourer in a year in which there is already an unusual degree of prominence given to Aquarius due to the grand conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius that began the year. The Full Moon will culminate at the final degree of Aquarius, in the home and bounds of Saturn, forming a conjunction with Jupiter as it waxes into peak illumination. Since the Full Moon will be separating from a union with Jupiter and applying toward a square aspect with the lunar nodes at their southern bending, it will be an ideal lunation for taking a broad survey of what has been developing in your life, leaning into challenges to be present with the underlying dynamics of relationships and any insight arising from unconscious sources. In comparison with the more sobering Aquarius Full Moon on July 23 that was applying to a conjunction with Saturn, the close proximity of Jupiter in Aquarius with the lunation can help facilitate discovery of ways to not only mediate and problem solve whatever issues have been building in the past month, but also spread open vision and greater scope of the imagination in sensing new possibilities on the path moving forward.

Uranus in Taurus holds a strong influence over the Aquarius Full Moon, as Uranus will be saturating the astrological atmosphere with its influence due to having stationed retrograde on August 19 only a few days before the lunation. Moreover, following the exact opposition between Sun and Moon, the waning Moon will not complete an aspect with another planet until forming an invigorating sextile aspect with Uranus on August 23. While you may have already experienced unexpected events and jolting revelations in the days surrounding the stationing of Uranus, the Aquarius Full Moon may unveil a larger field of patterns and attracting influences that can bring a clearer sense of which directions forward are connected with authentic breakthroughs versus which potential moves are more about rebelling against sources of frustration. In some cases the Full Moon will align with rapid acceleration in an exciting new direction, whereas in other situations it will be more important to be deeply present with the complexity and nuances of surrounding issues, allowing reflection to gradually reveal greater clarity while simultaneously opening to new perspectives. The liberating impact of Uranus is often found within quiet moments of solitude and contemplation rather than the calamity of chaotic change.

With the Full Moon in the same sign as Jupiter and Saturn while Uranus is stationing in the same week, the Aquarius Full Moon will bring yet another key demarcation on the ways your life structures and relationships have been fundamentally reshaped by the ongoing square aspect between Uranus and Saturn that has been shaking up old systems and structures in 2021 and will continue to do so during 2022. While we are only at the beginning of adjusting and reorienting our life to the ways surrounding societies and our inner lives are being radically altered by Saturn and Uranus, the Full Moon in Aquarius carries important insight to gather and sift through regarding our relationship with our present process of creative change in motion. The astrological atmosphere during the next couple of weeks as the Moon wanes from the Aquarius Full Moon into the Virgo New Moon on September 6 is less volatile than at many other points of the year, creating opportunities for recovery, repair, and connecting with the resources need for nurturance as well as making steady progress on goals.

Temperantia (1872) by Edward Burne-Jones

One of the most beneficial presences within the astrology surrounding the Aquarius Full Moon is Venus, as she will be glowing brightly in evening skies each night while also inhabiting her airy home of Libra. Venus can directly express her capacities for harmony, relationship, desire, pleasure, and aesthetics within her own domicile, with the unique qualities of Libra giving her increased skill in deciphering relational dynamics to bring about needed recalibration. Venus in Libra also brings a boost in creative and intellectual abilities, helping with the mental arrangement of ideas, aesthetics, and whatever creative processes we are engaging with. While Venus in Libra will not make troubles go away, she will be a potent ally in deepening in relationship with whatever process we are engaging with, helping us access the creativity needed to respond with intelligence and grace to whatever dilemmas we must address.

Fortunately, Venus in Libra is applying to a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius, the ruler of the Full Moon. Since Libra is also the exaltation of Saturn, the trine between Venus and Saturn will make it easier to find ways of not only noticing whatever has come out of balance within relationships but also creating the needed boundaries or adjustments to shift dynamics into the needed direction. With Venus bringing support to Saturn, it is a good time for those who have felt isolated or burdened with the weight of responsibilities to seek relief and support. Saturn has been retrograde in Aquarius since May 23, and from now until it stations direct on October 10 we will have increased opportunity to begin making movement forward based upon the insight we have been gathering through contemplating our relationship between what we desire to create from our inner authority versus the expectations and conditioning put upon us by external systems and authorities. Venus in Libra will be carrying the sword of Lady Justice, honed with sharpness by the enduring integrity of Saturn, helping us make important decisions on what needs to be released and what needs to be cultivated within our many relationships, cutting with clarity through both external and internal dynamics.

After forming a trine with Saturn, Venus will move toward forming an exact trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius on September 6, the day of the upcoming New Moon in Virgo. As Venus approaches her exact trine with Jupiter, she will also form a catalyzing square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn on September 5. Whatever deep relational material becomes dredged up by the temporary tension between Venus and Pluto can be mediated by the harmony between Venus and Jupiter, helping us find ways of seeing the larger picture and ways to discover opportunities for growth within present circumstances. However, it will be worthwhile taking note of what arises as Venus engages with the underworld depth of Pluto, as later in the year Venus will spend the entire month of December in close proximity with Pluto due to Venus stationing retrograde in Capricorn on December 19 in range of a conjunction with Pluto.

Similar to the sovereign strength Venus possesses in Libra, Mercury is also in its earthy home and exaltation of Virgo. Mercury has recently returned to visibility as an Evening Star and will be separating from a conjunction with Mars and a trine with Uranus during the Aquarius Full Moon, applying to an opposition with Neptune it will complete on August 24. Neptune is always an important underlying influence to note in terms of the deep imaginal meaning we source our beliefs and perceptions from, but due to the planetary nodes of Neptune being involved in the ongoing square between Saturn and Uranus (Saturn has been transiting close to the South Node of Neptune while Uranus has been in square aspect with the nodes of Neptune) there has been a powerful undertow of Neptune involved in whatever fracturing and new sources of inspiration have been emerging in correspondence with the tension between Saturn and Uranus. As Mercury in its exaltation scrutinizes Neptune through an opposition, we will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into our imaginal inner landscape to investigate what treasures may be excavated beneath the waves, as well as where we have been leading ourselves astray through illusions of one sort or another.

After opposing Neptune, Mercury in Virgo will then move into a flowing trine with Pluto in Capricorn on August 26 before entering Libra on August 29. The strength and profound reflective insight possessed by Mercury in its home and exaltation of Virgo is ideal for exploring the fathomless depth of Neptune and Pluto, and the more we are willing to descend into our inner darkness the better we will be able to reorient our direction forward with the processes of creativity and meaning ready to emerge from within. Once in Libra the star of Hermes will quickly apply to a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius it will complete on September 4 a couple of days before the New Moon in Virgo, at the same time that Venus in Libra is applying to a trine with Jupiter. The combined forces of Venus and Mercury in Libra coming into harmonious relationship with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius will help in releasing what needs to be emptied at the end of the present lunar cycle while revisioning what to begin initiating as we enter a new lunar cycle and approach the turn of the seasons at the Libra Equinox on September 22.

Odin in the Underworld (1770-72) by Henry Fuseli

While the Aquarius Full Moon illuminates the night, the nocturnal warrior Mars will be plunging downward as he descends into the underworld at his heliacal setting, becoming invisible by moving too close to the Sun to be seen in night skies. As Mars descends into darkness so may you notice external signs and messages correlating with an inner process of certain desires from the past two years of the present Mars cycle beginning to be laid to rest, noting whatever drives and motivations are no longer in alignment with your emerging purpose. The current synodic cycle of Mars was seeded by the Sun at their conjunction on September 2, 2019 in Virgo, with Mars emerging into visibility at its heliacal rise in mid October 2019 in Libra, and so reflecting upon your relationship with Mars from then until now can help orient you to whatever the underworld descent of Mars is calling you to discover from your own inner descent.

As Mars shifts from visibility into invisibility, he is separating from a trine with Uranus in Taurus and applying toward an opposition with Neptune in Pisces he will not complete until September 2. As Mars also recently completed a conjunction with Mercury in Virgo on August 18, there is a profoundly inventive, emancipatory, and mentally active quality that Mars will be carrying into the underworld from his recent contacts with Uranus and Mercury. The approaching opposition between Mars with Neptune signifies the vitality that may be contacted within inner imaginal landscapes through exploring whatever the fiery Eros of your unconscious is calling for you to burn away and regenerate in order to ultimately give birth to new forms of creative expression and burning purpose. Yet the opposition of Neptune also demands that you come to terms with illusory beliefs that need to be released so that the descent of Mars can help you become inspired to pursue a quest aligned with your authenticity.

Mars will be reanimated by the Sun on October 7 at 15º05′ Libra and then will return to visibility as a Morning Star in Scorpio in late November. This means that from the time of the Aquarius Full Moon until Mars enters the heart of the Sun to be regenerated on October 7, allow yourself to purge and release whatever needs to be let go from the current cycle of Mars. As Mars forms its union with the Sun in October, you may discover a better sense of how to come into relationship with the new desires taking shape. There will be a strong influence of Mercury upon the upcoming underworld passage of Mars, and so significations of Mercury such as writing, speech, research and commerce may be key elements of the creative changes coming from the catharsis of Mars.

Ceres (1526) by Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio

As Mars entering the underworld will call for our own inner descent, Ceres in the curious, mentally active, and airy home of Mercury will be in position to help us tend to inner realms and their impact upon external relationships. During the peak light of the Aquarius Full Moon, Ceres in Gemini will be forming a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, while also creating an airy triangle with Venus in Libra and Saturn in Aquarius. With Ceres forming flowing trines with Venus and Saturn occupying their own airy domiciles, the scythe of Ceres will glow with a mysterious light that can help in cutting through relational dynamics, separating issues and tending to the underlying dynamics. We may become more clear about what we value in certain relationships and what aspects of other relationships need tempering, as well as if clearer boundaries or spaces of separation need to be formed. It can be a fruitful time for exploring issues of attachment and communicating our process to those we are close to in relationship, gaining greater insight into the inner relational patterns that have been attracting us to others.

In addition to creating nurturing spaces for healing conversations, Ceres in Gemini can also be a productive time for all things mercurial especially in any intellectual pursuits involving the research, cultivation, and communication of ideas. Ceres in Gemini can hold multiple perspectives and ideas, letting the paradox of polarities reveal necessary insight. As Ceres moves from a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon into a flowing trine with Saturn that she will complete on September 1, be open to new perspectives and allow your curiosity to continue asking questions rather than assuming you have found the only answer.

7 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Aquarius 3 Decan

The Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Aquarius associated with the Seven of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Knot” to the third face of Aquarius, utilizing the symbol of a knot to reveal the karmic binds that keep us stuck in the known and familiar rather than liberating ourselves to enter the unknown. Coppock described the stealthy figure in the image of the Seven of Swords card as not only having decided to leave a frustrating situation, but also already contemplated what is worth taking and saving versus what is better left behind. The third face of Aquarius involves the risk that comes from exile and the uncertainty of no longer having the stability of the structures being left behind, but the figure in the Seven of Swords card has determinedly chosen the unknown over the known.

The Moon is the ruler of the third face of Aquarius, and so the meaning of this decan will be illuminated by the Moon reaching peak light here. The Aquarius Moon occupying its own face can help us gather the courage and inner resolve needed to experiment, take creative risks, and follow a new direction that may feel scary due to the uncertainty of leaving familiar sources of security behind, yet exciting in the ways it aligns with the leading edge of our emerging creativity and growth processes. Coppock in 36 Faces stated that the third face of Aquarius “illuminates karmic entanglements and oversees liberation from them,” but each of us may be occupying a different stage of this process. While some may have already broken free from the past during this period of accelerated astrological change, others may still be contemplating which direction to follow at the crossroads, oscillating back and forth between options. The Aquarius Full Moon calls for a deepening into coming to terms with what old aspects of the familiar need to be shed in order to embrace a more vital presence in the world.

Fittingly for a face favoring the unknown over the known, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Osiris, Egyptian lord of the dead and the otherworld, to the third face of Aquarius. The presence of Osiris with the Aquarius Full Moon brings themes of fertility and regeneration, mystery and becoming to the forefront. Osiris calls us to find resources and enrichment within the depth of our unconscious so we may nurture our own metamorphosis, rather than seeking external forms of validation that could condition the change underway. Osiris possess a sacred quality of surrender to the process of regeneration, surrendering to all of the suffering that must be endured in order to fully nurture and realize our own creative potential.

The fact that the 36 Airs linked Osiris to the third face of Aquarius is even more interesting due to the 36 Airs also linking Isis, the partner of Osiris, to the second face of Leo where the previous New Moon in Leo occurred. The courageous journey of Isis to search for her deceased and dismembered Osiris, her capacity for retrieving, remembering, and reanimating him back to life, may mirror our own ability within the present lunar cycle to place fears aside so we may embark upon a new orientation to life that brings us more fully alive and creatively actualized. Rather than regressing backwards, pulling away from the fires of transformation, allow the eternally wise presence of Osiris to guide you through whatever trials by fire you are experiencing so that you may become who you need to become on the other side.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

An angel watches over an argument between Ceres and Mercury

Euphoria winged heart

In Pisces Time

  • Venus is conjunct Neptune in Pisces at 2 – 4 degrees.

  • Sun is conjunct Chiron in Pisces at 9 – 10 degrees.

  • Mercury retrograde is conjunct Mars in Pisces at 19 -20 degrees.

Pisces is always on our minds at this time of year, the end of Winter in our northern hemisphere, with green shoots soon to be Narcissus poking through the dark earth.  This February and March, however, has more Piscean energy than normal.  The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Chiron, and Neptune are all in Pisces, with Mercury retrograde combined with Mars, Venus combined with Neptune, and the Sun combined with Chiron now at the end of February.  The Pisces-Virgo full moon that just occurred on February 25 was within a couple degrees of Chiron in Pisces.

Pisces is an archetype of the infinite and timeless, of the higher Spirit, God, or Goddess interconnecting all of life, in all dimensions and realms.  Moving in time with Pisces means moving in rhythm more with kairos time, the opportune or intuitively correct time to do something, more so than chronos time, the chronological time we “should” do something.  In Pluto: An Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Jeff Green links the Taoist concept of Wu Wei with the Pisces and the 12th House archetype.  Green explained that wu wei is an important Piscean development of awareness to act in accordance with the needs of the eternal now, more so than the needs of our egocentric point of view.  Therefore, if decisive action is required, we act directly; if it is a harmonious time to become more internal and self-reflective, we can enter a more contemplative state of being.  My cousin, who has been studying the Tao through acupuncture and qi gong, told me that  wu wei is “actionless action,” “action without action,” or “doing without doing” because if you are in line with the Cosmos, “then all of your actions are completely in integrity and you influence the world without trying.  The political idea (from ancient China) would be a ‘sage king’ who is so attuned with the Universe that the kingdom and all the subjects benefit without him doing anything. The simplest image . . . is to flow like water.”

Now that Mercury is moving retrograde in Pisces, it will take extra effort for us to keep up with chronos time and the deadline-bound demands, expectations, and responsibilities of our daily work and life.  It will be harder to make it to work on time or have an expected project completed by a specific deadline unless we place a lot of conscious focus there to make it happen.  In contrast, it could be easier to drift off into a more creative, artistic, and reflective pursuit that may on the surface appear to be escapist and not make much sense to the expectations of others around us.  We must be careful, however, of escapist desires that are masking deeper wounds in our psyche we do not want to face;  the Mercury retrograde and Mars conjunction in Pisces right now is in square to Ceres in Gemini, which could reflect addictions and compulsions we fixate on such as over-eating, drug use, or co-dependent relationships in order to provide for our nurturing needs in a grasping manner, instead of finding ways to nurture ourselves that keep us on a healthier path.  Also, remember that Mercury and Mars were traveling together direct in Pisces for most of the month of February before only recently coming into a square with Gemini Ceres; earlier in February Pisces Mercury and Mars were conjunct Chiron in Pisces and squaring Jupiter in Gemini.  Thus, throughout February the Mercury and Mars conjunction in Pisces could have reflected us stridently acting and perceiving events from an emotional perspective that could be either distorted by limiting beliefs or past unhealed wounds.  In contrast, if we have been working on facing past patterns and issues with intention of transformation, we could make choices from a more intuitively feeling place we have helped cultivate through a mindful practice of some sort that helps us heal and purify our inner psyche to create a healthier root foundation for our actions.  Now that Mercury has shifted into a retrograde phase, there could arise more discrepancy between our internal desires for what we want to do with our time and energy versus the external demands of our environment for our time and energy.  The strong squares from Gemini Jupiter and Gemini Ceres, the ultimate divine sister and brother team, to all of the intense Pisces energy of the moment could place us in fast moving and shifting situations full of turmoil and chaos.

From my personal experience during this time period, the universe has been asking me to embrace a higher level of frequency and speed in my daily life, a need to attune to quickly shifting needs relating to my daily work responsibilities.  My Mercury and Midheaven are at 4 degrees of Pisces and have been especially struck with Pisces transits recently, as well as my Pallas Athena at 9 degrees, and Sun at 28 degrees of Pisces conjunct Jupiter, all in my 10th House.  The difficulty has been balancing the myriad needs of my work environment with my own needs for personal time and the needs of loved ones in personal relationship with me.  I have felt, however, that the Universe has been asking me to think, process, make choices, and act at a faster rate and a higher frequency, not so much as multi-task as being able to focus on one thing and then shift focus to another. It has felt like an important time of preparation to be ready to face greater responsibilities and challenges in the near future.

The Venus-Neptune conjunction just coming into manifestation at this time can help with a greater heart opening and awareness of where we need to direct our love and energy moment to moment.  Venus and Neptune combined in Pisces can certainly lead us down illusionary paths, make us more prone to be lost in a fantasy world.  However, if we have been on a path of intention recently to connect more with our true Soul path in life, then this current conjunction of Venus and Neptune can help our heart pierce the shell of crystallized patterns, habits, and emotions we protect our true vulnerability with, for us to open to the potential of expressing unconditional love and faith in our daily life.

In the greater cosmic context of the ripening Pluto-Uranus square, with Saturn in Scorpio moving retrograde, the potential heart opening of Venus and Neptune together in Pisces could even feel shattering.  In current events, it is symbolically fitting that the Pope resigned earlier in February with the intense Pisces conjunctions of Mercury, Mars, Neptune, and Chiron, as the structure of the Catholic church is being shaken in a Uranian way for a potential Plutonic transformation.  Pisces, an archetype in line with the true message of Jesus, fittingly has intense energy being expressed at the same time a bright light is being shone upon the “viper’s nest” of political intrigue amongst Cardinals and other catholic power structure elite who have been covering up sexual abuse and other corrupt practices within the Church.  Whether or not Catholic officials choose to take this moment of “divine intervention” to truly attempt to reform and remake their structure,the opportunity has presented itself.

In our personal lives, the Sun currently being conjunct Chiron in Pisces, the recent conjunctions of Mars and Mercury with Chiron, as well as the conjunction of Venus and Chiron in Pisces in the near future, point to the combined archetypes of Chiron with Pisces being important in this time.  The Chiron archetype is often described as a wounded healer ability we have to heal and transform others as a gift from having done the hard work of facing our own wounds.  However, Chiron is also the trainer of heroes, and we are being asked to step more deeply into our special heroic identity and destiny at this time.  The call of our heroic journey has been more piercing recently because Chiron in Pisces has been in the process of being tested by a square from Jupiter in Gemini.   Integral to this process of stepping into our “Hero’s Journey,” as Joseph Campbell so famously illuminated, is the archetype and function of Mercury.  Mercury first moved direct conjunct Chiron while being conjunct Mars in Pisces at the same time at the beginning of February.  This was a time to begin to harmonize our force of Will (Mars) with how our sense of perception (Mercury) is shaped in relation to our Chiron issues: our wounded past, our special gifts and talents buried in our psyche, and the tremendous strength we can mine from going deep inside to confront our personal demons and fears, gaining the ability to re-emerge with gifts we can share with the people we attract into our life.  Recently Mercury stationed retrograde and became conjunct with Mars once again in Pisces, and now Mercury has embarked on his retrograde journey into our personal underworld, eventually becoming conjunct Chiron again moving retrograde, stationing direct around the Spring Equinox, and then moving direct to conjunct Chiron a third time in the Spring of 2013.

To put it all in a mystorical perspective, Mercury moving retrograde in Pisces at this time is like Hermes journeying into the underworld in order to negotiate a release of Persephone from Hades so that she can return to her mother Demeter.  The Gemini Ceres squaring the Pisces Mercury-Mars conjunction is like the anger and rage of Demeter over losing her daughter Persephone to the underworld and Hades.  She is furious at her brother Zeus for allowing it to happen, and so Zeus convinces Hermes to brave the underworld in order to guide Persephone back to the arms of her mother.  Taking my own creative license with the myth, I feel that Demeter as the Great Goddess of Earth and fertility would clearly have had strong opinions about exactly how Hermes should proceed and attend to the safety of her daughter; Hermes, being slippery and intelligent enough to negotiate not only the underworld but also the power of Hades, likewise would have had the ability to hold his own with Demeter in an intense debate about how he would have to negotiate with Hades.  Ultimately, Hermes is able to retrieve Persephone from the underworld, but it came at a price that Demeter would have to compromise in a Piscean manner of surrender:  Persephone would spend half of the year above ground with her mother Demeter, and the other half of the year presiding over the dead and guiding Souls in the afterlife in the underworld with her partner Hades.  The fact that this tragedy that befell Demeter ultimately resulted in our seasons of the year, the glorious fertility of Spring, and our corresponding conscious awareness of the rebirth from death element inherent to creation, means that her letting go of attachment to possessing Persephone has a fated quality linked to the guidance of the angelic realm.  This theme can be mirrored in our personal lives today anywhere that we are overly attached to based upon our nurturing needs, needs that often have to do with unresolved wounds from our childhood and later personality development.  If we are creating suffering for ourselves because of grasping to control or possess an object of desire, we may be forced to surrender and let go of it in order to find the Piscean faith that our lives will ultimately work out in a manner that will help us heal and rebirth ourselves in a manner for the greatest good.  Ceres and the Demeter myth have a lot to teach us about grief: our reactive ego parts of personality may feel like bitterly reacting with vengeance like Demeter, refusing to express our fertile love in our environment, metaphorically refusing to let flowers, life, and the harvest bloom around us.  If we keep in mind the wisdom that is often symbolized by the concept of Angelic guides, however, we can keep in mind that new life and creation will come out of the death and grief process, we can realize that new exciting endeavors await us.  Reflecting the recent transits of Chiron, Neptune, Mars, Mercury, the Sun, and Venus over the fixed star Fomalhaut, the Archangel available to guide us on our hero’s quest at this time is Gabriel.

Fomalhaut

The Archangel Gabriel

Archangel_Gabriel_(Gelati)

  • Fomalhaut is a fixed star at 3°52′ of Pisces, a reddish star in the mouth of the Southern Fish, Piscis Austrinus.

  • Neptune in Pisces is conjunct Fomalhaut from May 1, 2012 until February 22, 2014.

  • Neptune will be especially close to Fomalhaut from March 16 until March 31, 2013 (also August 20 until September 7, 2013,  and from January 15 until February 1, 2014).

  • Pisces Mars conjunct Neptune on February 4, 2013 was conjunct Fomalhaut

  • Pisces Mercury conjunct Neptune on February 6 was conjunct Fomalhaut

  • Pisces Mercury conjunct Mars on February 8 was conjunct Fomalhaut

  • Pisces Sun conjunct Neptune on February 20 was conjunct Fomalhaut

  • Pisces Venus conjunct Neptune on February 28 is conjunct Fomalhaut

  • Dark Moon in Pisces conjunct Neptune on March 10 is conjunct Fomalhaut

Fomalhaut is a fixed star at four degrees of Pisces, also known as the Archangel Gabriel star.   In the 3rd Century B.C., Fomalhaut marked zero degrees of Capricorn, the Winter Solstice.  It became associated with the archangel Gabriel as one of the four key archangel stars and the watcher of the South, along with Aldebaran (Michael, watcher of the East), Regulus (Raphael, watcher of the North), and Antares (Oriel, watcher of the West).  The temple of Demeter at Eleusis held daily sunrise worship of Fomalhaut around 500 B.C.¹  Thus, there is a herstorical and historical connection between the Angel Gabriel and the Goddess Demeter.

Gabriel is an angel who has made appearances in some of the most famous scenes of the dominant world religions of today:  in the Bible, he appeared to Daniel to aid in explaining the significance of his visions, he is the angel who appeared to the Virgin Mary in order to explain about the birth of Jesus, and he also appeared to Zechariah to foretell the birth of John the Baptist.  In the Qu’ran, Gabrielle is the angel who delivers the message of the Qu’ran to the prophet Muhammad³.  Thus, there is an otherworldly quality to Fomalhaut and Gabrielle that go well with the energy of Pisces: an ability to perceive beyond the limitations we often put upon our reality, to feel the meaning of visions and dreams, and to also have the ability to communicate the significance of these visions in a message that others can understand.

Fomalhaut seems to be a misunderstood star that is similar to the archetype of Pisces, known to reflect poetic, artistic, and spiritual gifts as well as propensity toward illusion and delusion².  Those who have the ability to perceive more of the phenomenal world than others who are more limited by consensus reality, run the risk of being labeled crazy by authorities of consensus reality.  Apparently, Ptolemy viewed Fomalhaut as having the nature of Venus and Mercury, and many astrologers today see it as combining the archetype of Neptune as well¹.  With Neptune currently being conjunct Fomalhaut as well as Venus, we can be guided at this time to write or create art, transform whatever difficulties or stress we are dealing with into poetry and art.  Gabriel is the most poetic, artistic, and magical of the four archangels, and the most peaceful as well².  The otherworldly quality of this star being transited by Neptune and Venus now could reflect a propensity of ours to become more spaced out, less grounded, and more inwardly focused upon ourselves and our spiritual or artistic interests–  ideal for a time period in which Mercury is retrograde in Pisces.

Similar to warnings about the Pisces archetype, we must be careful to not perceive ourselves, our reality, and others around us in relationship through the lens of being a victim when we are dealing with the Fomalhaut archetype.  Instead of using our perceptual abilities to see beyond reality in order to express spiritual visions or artistic depths, we distortedly filter everything through a victimizing perspective that sees or feels things that are not truly there.  We can become victim of our own thoughts and beliefs that lead us to our own suffering.  Put those hard feelings into some form of art instead!  Through the process of art and creativity, we can express a larger spectrum of our feelings and emotions, integrating greater meaning into the complex archetypal symbolism of a fairy tale or artwork than we could by trying to more logically explain what has been difficult about our experiences.

A famous example is the late Olympia singer songwriter Kurt Cobain, born with his Sun, his soul purpose, conjunct Fomalhaut. Kurt put his difficulties as a homeless youth with mental health issues into his art, his guitar playing, and channeled his heart through his voice into songs, lyrics, and a primal scream that connected with millions of youth crossing through their individuation process while expressing the message of the punk lifestyle deep into mainstream and consensus consciousness, temporarily taking over the corporate media outlets even.  He was able to attract widespread fame and a massive generational audience to his work, able to pierce through mass consciousness to a core feeling of Piscean empathy that crossed over many diverse audience backgrounds.  Fomalhaut is a Piscean and angelic archetype that knows how to navigate the avenues of fame and fortune, following illusion after illusion at times.

In our retelling of the Persephone myth, I can imagine the Archangel Gabriel watching over and helping a hurt and grieving Ceres come to a greater understanding of the great prophecy and mystery she is becoming a part of, a story that did indeed become embedded in the Eleusian Mysteries.  According to Demetra George in Asteroid Goddesses, the Eleusinian Mysteries were enacted for two thousand years (1600 BC to 400 AD) and were the major initiation rites in the ancient world. George described “the esoteric level taught by the initiates of the Eleusinian Mysteries…[was] the great transformation mystery- the cycle of birth, death, and renewal” (p.44).  Integrating esoteric knowledge into initiation rituals in which participants re-enact characters and events of ancient myths seems like a perfect use of the poetic Fomalhaut archetype.  From the mythic perspective, by releasing her daughter to become the Queen of the underworld who can help guide the Souls of the dead to their eventual rebirth, Ceres is able to contribute to greater collective spiritual understanding as well as gain the ability to spend quality time on Earth with her daughter in the Spring and Summer.

Ceres

Ceres statue

  • Ceres stationed direct on February 10, 2013 in Gemini at 20 degrees.  Gemini Ceres was inconjunct the North Node of the Moon in Scorpio at this time.

  • The Heliocentric North Node of Ceres is 20 degrees Gemini

  • Pisces Mercury stationed retrograde in square to Gemini Ceres on February 23, 2013

  • Gemini Ceres squared the conjunction of Mercury retrograde and Mars in Pisces on February 26, 2013

  • Venus in Pisces will square Ceres in Gemini on March 18, 2013

  • The North Node of the Moon in Scorpio has been inconjunct Ceres in Gemini from Ferbruary 7 until March 1, 2013.

  • The asteroid Persephone is currently conjunct the North Node of the Moon in Scorpio and widely conjunct Saturn retrograde in Scorpio

  • The asteroid Persephone will station retrograde conjunct the North Node of the Moon in Scorpio at 18 degrees on March 14, 2013

  • The asteroid Persephone will be closely conjunct the North Node of the Moon in Scorpio at 18 degrees from March 24 until March 26, 2013

  • The asteroid Persephone will eventually be conjunct Saturn retrograde in Scorpio on May 28, 2013 at 7 degrees.

Ceres, also known as Demeter in Greek myth, recently stationed direct at 20 degrees of Gemini on February 10, 2013.  This zodiacal degree is especially significant because it is the heliocentric north node of Ceres:  meaning the north node from the perspective of the Sun (in contrast to the geocentric nodes, from the perspective of Earth, commonly used by astrologers).  At the 2011 Evolutionary Astrology conference, Demetra George gave a brilliant lecture on Ceres in which she illuminated the meaning of this heliocentric Gemini north node:  the development of the rational or logical mind in Femininity and Matriarchal consciousness.  When Demetra was speaking (in November 2011) I tried to write down as much of her message as possible, the fruits of which follow in the passages below.

Developing our rational or logical minds may seem unnecessary in this time period we find ourselves in, dominated by a cultural worldview that is overly rational and negates the feelings of the Anima Mundi that runs through all of life.  Instead of feeling the energy and messages in the trees, animals, water, and life around us, many in the dominant culture choose to view human beings and the narrow pursuits of humans as being the only viable life force to take account of.  However, while paying attention to our intuition is important, there can be something to be said for developing our logic when we fall victim to our emotions and feelings overwhelming us to such an extent that we begin to perceive things in distorted ways unconnected from reality and what the universe is providing for us to act upon in a moment of grounded presence.  We can also use our rational mind to analyze past patterns of behavior to see where we have been stuck or distorted with our thought patterns and work to begin to shift our perspective through mindful practices of gratitude, creative affirmations, or other techniques.

Thus, if the heliocentric North Node of Ceres is Gemini, it draws attention to an evolutionary development of the archetype away from the dogmatic beliefs of it’s heliocentric South Node in Sagitarius.  Sagitarius can be helpful at times through development of a strong value and belief system we can act from through intuition at any moment.  However, when we become stuck or fixated in a certain belief system, believe that others should also have the same belief system perspective that we do, attempt to convince or manipulate others to develop the same belief system as ourselves, or become stuck on a certain belief that is ultimately creating a limited perspective of reality for us, that is when we are heading into the dogmatic danger zone of Sagitarius.  There is a reason we humans developed the scientific method, after all, and there is good use the Goddess Ceres can make of it.  The logic and rational elements of the scientific method, the mutable nature of it that can shift perspective according to evidence manifesting in reality, is after all how humans such as Kepler and Copernicus were able to prove that our planet is revolving around a Sun in a greater universe, as opposed to the universe revolving around our planet.

Along these lines, in the myth Ceres is so devastated by the loss of her daughter Persephone that she loses connection with her passion and purpose to bring fertility to the Earth, and the Earth goes barren as a result.  Ceres uses opiates to escape from her pain and clearly views herself to be a victim in the scenario.  Unfortunately, events take an even greater tragic turn when she becomes raped by Poseidon, aka Neptune.  This event not only symbolizes the  oppression we are at risk of undergoing from the Patriarchy, especially women, it also symbolizes the indescribably tragic horrors that can happen to us when we become overwhelmed by our emotions to such an extent that we lose connection with our passions and purpose in life.  Lots of Pisces energy does not mean everyone is going to be mellow and meditative; instead, there is the potential for lots of anger, escapism, addictions,  and rage, especially with Mars and Mercury conjunct in Pisces.

However, the healing of Ceres from the rape of Poseidon reveals another Piscean avenue of healing:  purification from water.  Ceres releases and heals her anger and rage at Poseidon while taking a bath in a river.   Although she may have become angry or argumentative with Mercury for not being able to retrieve Persephone so that they could spend the entire year together,  in the end, through many trials and tribulations, Ceres is able to gain the logical perception that being able to have her daughter back with her for at least half of the year is better than nothing, and finally that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few in this case because of the multitudes of Souls her daughter will be able to help and heal through returning to the underworld to rule over the kingdom of the Dead.

Synchronistically, the asteroid Persephone at this moment in time is moving with the evolutionary journey of everyone on this planet, currently moving toward a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in Scorpio.  This will become even more intense in mid-March when Persephone will station retrograde conjunct the Scorpio North Node, and then move backwards along with the retrograde motion of the North Node.  Eventually in late May of 2013, Persephone will have moved far enough back in Scorpio to be conjunct Saturn in Scorpio.  The amazing symbolism of these cosmic events clearly highlights the Scorpio power that Persephone ultimately claims for herself in the myth by owning her relationship with Pluto and becoming the Queen of the underworld who is able to help guide and heal the Souls of the dead.  In our own lives, we can step into this power no matter how difficult, tragic, oppressive, or cataclysmic our experiences feel: if we face the situation courageously we will activate a deep well of ability we may not normally utilize inside of our self.  Persephone does not end up being a victim: she becomes the Queen of Spirit.

Therefore, Persephone is connected with our evolutionary journey forward at this time.  According to Demetra George in Finding Our Way Through the Dark, the Persephone archetype in our birth charts involve issues surrounding our separation from our mother and “how and where, either physically or psychologically, we may be abducted and plunged into an underworld experience (sometimes at an early age) where we encounter terror, loss, and confusion, and feelings of abandonment” (p. 101).  Persephone in Scorpio is making this underworld feeling described by Demetra George even more intense:

This descent can enable us to develop a relationship with the hidden forces in our unconscious, activate our psychic abilities, release the past, discover a new sense of our adult self and strengths, and emerge transformed and renewed. Some individuals who experience Persephone as a tragedy from which they have never recovered may react by developing patterns of distrust, withdrawal, fear of sexuality and intimacy, fantasy life, depression, chemical addictions, separation anxieties, victimization, passivity and powerlessness, and being acted upon by the strong will of others (p. 101).

Persephone in Scorpio also reflects our potential to step into the eagle aspect of the archetype, taking responsibility and power in our own daily lives and being an effective guide for the transformation of others.  Scorpio Persephone could reflect a latent psychic gift inside our psyche awaiting our cultivation and development.

In contrast, Ceres in Gemini will be showing up in our lives as themes, issues, events, and people in which or with which we have a nurturing role or relationship.  Certainly anything that has to do with the birth or raising of our own biological children or issues with our parents, but also anywhere in our lives in which we are taking on a nurturing role with more of a collective family.  For example, anyone who is a teacher knows the caring vibration you develop for your students, and anyone who works in the social services, mental health field, or medical field, also is well aware of the caring vibration you develop for the people coming to you looking for healing.  Challenges with the people we are working with to help may be triggered at this time, calling us to devise more effective methods at meeting their needs, but more importantly helping them meet their own needs.  Our work with Ceres in Gemini at this time will involve the use of our Mercurial functions of perception, analysis, and communication in order to help nurture ourselves so that we can be come strong nurturers and advocates for others.  In Asteroid Goddesses Demetra George described another Mercurial Ceres issue we may be dealing with now, as she explained that stressful aspects between Ceres and Mercury “indicate difficulties in communicating one’s nurturance needs to others, especially the family.  A common example is the person who expects others to know what he or she needs without having to say so, and becomes angry when the other person doesn’t ‘come through'” (p. 72).  George also described stressful aspects between Mars and Ceres as reflecting feelings of inadequacy, incompetence, or powerlessness and that the resolution is to balance “self-will with the desire to nurture and be nurtured” (p. 73).  We can use Mercurial functions to help with this such as creative affirmations or visualization-  in any case, George suggests that we  remember we have the opportunity to transform our “subconscious self-image and replace thoughts of fear and inadequacy with those of confidence, courage, and self-reliance” (p. 73).

Interestingly, this pairing of Ceres with Mercurial functions goes very nicely with the elevation of Ceres to dwarf planet status, the same planetary classification as her nemesis Pluto.  In the December/January issue of The Mountain Astrologer, Maria Kay Simms elucidated a logical argument for making Ceres the modern day ruler of Virgo.  Not only is the Goddess Ceres the actual constellation used with the Virgo archetype, going step-by-step through the assignment of modern day planetary rulership would make Virgo the next in line to receive a modern day ruler, which in synchronicity happens to be Ceres (Ceres was elevated to current planetary status in 2006;  since Eris was elevated in 2003, Simms in the same article argues that Eris should be the modern day ruler of Libra).

Mercury

Mercury and Pegasus

  • Mercury is retrograde in Pisces from February 23 until March 17, 2013

  • Mercury in Pisces moves direct beyond the “retrograde shadow” stationing point on April 6, 2013

  • Mercury and Neptune conjunct in Pisces on February 6, 2013 at 3 degrees.

  • Mercury and Mars conjunct in Pisces on February 8 at 6 degrees, in square to Jupiter in Gemini.

  • Mercury retrograde and Mars conjunct in Pisces on February 26 at 20 degrees, in square to Ceres in Gemini.

  • Venus conjunct Mercury retrograde in Pisces on March 6 at 12 degrees, in square to Jupiter in Gemini.

  • Mercury will have final square with Ceres in this cycle on April 16, 2013 with Mercury in Aries and Ceres in Cancer at 4 degrees.  The Mercury-Ceres square of this time will be within 5-7 degrees of the Uranus-Pluto square.

  • Mercury will have final conjunction with Mars in this cycle in Taurus at 14 degrees on May 7, 2013.

Pisces in Mercury may make some think of a poet, or an overly sensitive dreamer who lacks assertion, but during this time in which Mercury and Mars are traveling together in Pisces the energy will be more like a strident Pegasus stubbornly breaking free of any attempt to reign the energy in.  As I wrote about in one of my first blog posts in August 2012, I love the heroic quality of the Mercury archetype, who appears in myths as Hermes or Mercury over and over again to make truly miraculous acts of heroic rescue.  Mercury is the one God who is repeatedly able to travel down to the depths of the underworld and handle himself enough to rescue a Soul in order for a return to the upperworld.  In the myth of Demeter and Persephone, Zeus knows that the only being capable of negotiating a return of Persephone from Pluto back to her mother Demeter, is Hermes.

On an archetypal psychology level, we are able to use our Mercurial functions of perception to explore our dreams, visions, and unconscious patterns that can have great impact on how we are perceiving reality on a conscious level.  When Mercury travels retrograde, it is like the same symbolic movement of Hermes traveling into the underworld to communicate with Persephone.  Before Persephone was abducted by Pluto, or chose to go with Pluto as the more ancient versions before the invasion of the Patriarchy tell it, she was a young maiden who had not yet explored the dark depths of her psyche or come to an understanding of the unconscious elements of her psyche that influence her daily conscious choices.  For example, if she really chose to be taken by Pluto at that time, was she really aware of why she would have been attracting that situation to herself?  In the end, whether or not she chose to be taken by Pluto does not really matter because Persephone ultimately faced the reality of her situation of being trapped in the underworld and stepped fully into her power as the Queen of the Spirit world.  When Mercury finally reaches her, he is not able to negotiate a complete release of Persephone back to her mother Demeter and the lush green world of the Earth’s surface.  As a result, Persephone becomes a bridge between the upperworld and the underworld, between the unconscious and the conscious, and a powerful symbol of the human ability to explore archetypal patterns of our collective and individual consciousness, and to guide others toward a healing and holistic rebirth of their fractured and fragmented unconscious.

The heroic ability of Mercury in myth to travel back and forth from the underworld to the upperworld, from the unconscious to the conscious, mirrors the human ability to use our minds and perceptions to explore what can appear like otherworldy phenomenon that can be at the root of our perceptual nature.  When Carl Jung wrote and illustrated his Red Book, for example, he may on the surface have appeared to be lost and crazy to others.  However, the legacy of the work he was able to take from his Red Book explorations, his ability to also use his Mercury function to then logically structure writing and communication that could express some of the unexpressable knowledge he had received to a mass audience, ultimately caused a collective revolution in psyche that is being used today by countless healers to help others find and heal themselves.

This ability of Mercury to bring logical written form and structure to otherworldly perceptions and visions, to encode the meaning of the message in the form of a myth, story, or fairy tale, or more analytically organize the message into a more academic psychological or scientific theory, is the power of Mercury in Pisces combined with Fomalhaut, the archangel Gabriel.  In Asteroid Goddesses, Demetra George described how the myth of Ceres versus Pluto was used to transmit esoteric knowledge and healing to participants, and how this transformative process is reflected today in Mercurial explorations of our inner psyche:

Within the framework of this archetypal drama, the Eleusinian Mysteries led their initiates through the drama of Ceres and Persephone, of loss and return. First, the story was retold; then, in the Lesser Mysteries, the participants identified with the story’s action; finally, in the Greater Mysteries, they received a vision and revelation that the great mythic drama took place within themselves. These rites are still taking place today, as reported by psychotherapists who have observed the symbols of the ancient initiatory process emerging in their patients’dreams and fantasies. Thus, Ceres’ rites of passage are now being lived out on the inner planes as stages of psychic transformation (p. 45).

Just as the angel Gabriel brought the message of the Qu’ran to the prophet Muhammad, the message of the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary, so can we make sense and order out of perceptions we have during this time that may seem wild and illogical at first.  At the beginning of February, Mercury was moving direct conjunct Fomalhaut at the same time it was conjunct Neptune and Mars; days before the Spring Equinox when Mercury stations direct it will be in range of a conjunction to Fomalhaut once again.  And then Mercury will move direct and eventually be conjunct Mars for the final time in this cycle on May 7, at the height of Spring in full bloom, a potentially peak time to fully manifest the visions currently simmering inside. At this Spring Equinox, as Persephone returns from the underworld to her mother Demeter, as flowers rise out of the earth, and birdsong returns to the trees, we will likewise have the opportunity to bring form, order, and manifestation to new visions arising from within.

Demeter finds Persephone

References

  1. http://www.constellationsofwords.com/stars/Fomalhaut.html
  2. http://www.darkstarastrology.com/fomalhaut
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel
  4. George, Demetra. Asteroid Goddesses.
  5. George, Demetra. Finding Our Way through the Dark.
  6. Green, Jeff. Pluto: the Evolutionary Journey of the Soul.